Mean girls, more often than not, are actually insecure girls. Sure, some personalities might manifest insecurity by becoming wall flowers instead, but not everyone responds the same way. When insecurities combine with aggressive personality traits and enter a dance studio, they often create jealousy.
What do you do when you find yourself envying another dancer? What about when other dancers seem jealous of you? The fact is that someone will always be better than you at something, and you’ll also more than likely be better in certain ways than someone else. But envy can be both harnessed and channeled in a positive direction. Let’s take a look at how.
When You Envy Another Dancer
It’s bound to happen sooner or later: you find the green-eyed monster welling up within you when someone else gets the lead role for which you’d been hoping. And it’s even worse when that “someone” is a mean girl. First, you can always choose not to let those feelings prompt you to also become a mean girl; you can keep them under control. Second, you can allow those feelings to motivate you to work harder at achieving your goals. Part of that might actually involve asking the envy-worthy dancer to share some tips with you!
When the dancer with the envied role is someone who doesn’t treat others well, try to step back from the situation and consider whether her personality or ability earned her the role. You can also examine whether perhaps her achievements have prompted others’ jealousy in the past, perhaps reinforcing her tendency to be unkind to others. Regardless of what motivates her to act the way you do, you can always choose how you respond. It’s always appropriate to congratulate a fellow dancer and to acknowledge their hard work and skill. The Golden Rule certainly bears on this kind of situation, too.
When Other Dancers Envy You
You’ve worked hard for the role, and you really expected the other dancers to be happy for you. But they’re not. Before you lash out, remember how you’ve felt when others have received the coveted role. So you really shouldn’t be surprised if your fellow dancers may treat you differently once you’ve won a role that they were also after.
Remember, most mean girl behavior is rooted in insecurity. Recognizing what may motivate their jealousy, you can respond by making a point to approach them and recognize their skills — perhaps in areas where you’re deficient. You can also remind them that you’re part of a team, and one dancer’s success is really a win for everyone.
Mean girl behaviors, including expressions of jealousy, can easily cross the line into bullying. A pattern of relational aggressive behavior typically won’t resolve itself on its own, so it’s important to know how to respond in a way that will be both productive and protective.
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